Gov't airs concern over China missile deployment

Gov't airs concern over China missile deployment

Gov't airs concern over China missile deployment

"With our recently developed close relationship and friendship with China, we are confident that those missiles are not directed at us", Roque said.

The government has expressed concern over China's reported installation of missile systems in the South China Sea, saying it hopes the missiles were not directed at the country.

China has reportedly quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile system on three of its outposts in the South China Sea. Earlier this year, official statements from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and editorials in state papers foreshadowed that China might deploy more substantial forces to the Spratly Islands, ostensibly in response to threat from US warships and plans conducting freedom of navigation operations in their vicinity.

Sanders did not say what the consequences might be.

They would be the first Chinese missile deployments in the Spratlys, where Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei have rival claims.

Chinese officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to a report in CNBC, which quoting a source with knowledge of US intelligence reports, the Chinese military had deployed the weapons systems to islands east of the Philippines on Thursday.

In a daily press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that her nation has been involved in peaceful construction in the islands, which includes "the deployment of necessary national defense facilities".

This photo taken in April 2018 shows China's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (front), sailing with other ships during a drill at sea.

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Before the new deployments were revealed, Admiral Philip Davidson, newly confirmed to be head of the U.S. Pacific Command, reported to Congress in May that China appeared to have completed its bases in the Spratly Islands, and that they only lacked deployed forces on them.

"In line with the President's (Rodrigo Duterte) amorous affair with China, the AFP has chosen to play the monkey that sees, hears, and speaks no evil whenever it comes to China's aggressive escalation of military capabilities in the West Philippine Sea", De Lima said in a dispatch dated Saturday (May 5) from her detention cell in Camp Crame.

"Be that as it may, we would explore all diplomatic means to address this issue", he added.

Julie Bishop, the foreign minister of US ally Australia, said the report, if accurate, would be a concern as the actions would be contrary to China's stated aspiration not to militarize features it controls.

"Any action to militarize unilaterally features in the South China Sea would go against that responsibility and that role".

It said that the YJ-12B anti-ship missiles would be able to strike ships up to 295 nautical miles away from the artificial islands.

Gregory Poling, Center for Strategic and International Studies fellow and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative told CNBC, "This should be seen as China crossing an important threshold". Estimates for the YJ-12's range vary from 160 to 250 nautical miles, though some claim it can reach almost 300, and the HQ-9B's range is believed to be around 100 nautical miles.

"Before this, if you were one of the other claimants. you knew that China was monitoring your every move".

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